FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., July 2015 – Arizona is one of America’s most popular snowbird destinations, drawing hundreds of thousands of empty nesters and retirees each year from the Northern US and Canada.
But a reverse migration also takes place within the Grand Canyon State each summer. It involves both working people and retirees who flee the desert heat for campgrounds in the higher elevations of the state.
Faith Ann Dunham and her husband, Jerry, live in Casa Grande. But they spend the summer in their 32-foot fifth wheel at J & H RV Park in Flagstaff.
“Our right does not move,” Faith Ann Dunham said. “We use it like our summer vacation cottage.”
So while the desert RV parks and resorts get most of their business during the winter months, campgrounds and RV parks in the northern part of the state get most of their business in the summer.
Some parks, like J & H RV Resort in Flagstaff and Venture in RV Resort in Show Low are only open during the summer months, typically from May through October, and most of their guests are desert residents fleeing the summer heat.
But Arizona’s desert residents are doing more than fleeing the heat. Many keep busy with social activities and tours, many of which are organized by the parks where they spend the summer.
“Here at J & H RV Park, we get together and go out to lunch. On Friday afternoons there is a get together and people get together and share hors d’oeuvres and drinks. We also have a pot luck every Sunday,” Dunham said.
Larry Bolfik met his wife, Erma Dean, at one of those Sunday pot lucks two and a half years ago.
A retired engineer from Ford Motor Company, Larry Bolfik originally retired from Tucson, but started coming up to J & H RV Park to spend the summers. The Bolfiks now live in Phoenix, but spend the summers at J & H RV Park in their 35-foot Montana fifth wheel.
“It’s a wonderful park,” Erma Dean Bolfik said. “The fellowship here is just great. There are quite a few of us who come up every summer. one of the friends we made up here lives just three miles away from us in Phoenix. Everybody is just so friendly.”
J & H RV Park and Venture in RV Resort are members of the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, which hosts a statewide travel planning website at www.GoCampinginArizona.com. The association also publishes a printed campground directory.